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Amthal is once again working with local Police and Neighbourhood Watch teams to raise awareness of the seasonal crime prevention campaign, Operation Gnome.

The springtime campaign, headed by Hertfordshire Constabulary, follows latest statistics that suggest a 40% increase in outdoor thefts over the spring and summer months. It aims to encourage homeowners to be extra observant and seek specialist advice to ensure their gardens; outbuildings and allotment sites remain secure.

Says Jamie Allam of Amthal: “With the days becoming warmer and longer, homeowners will be busy taking to their gardens and allotments, and spending time and money on returning them to their former glory.

“Traditionally this is also a time where opportunist burglars are more inclined to target sheds, garages and outbuildings on the search for power tools, bikes and other expensive equipment.

“Such uninvited visitors will also be on the look out for any tools and equipment left in the garden, which could be used to break into homes; for example spades, garden forks, ladders etc. Police advice is to be extra vigilant and use the time now to top up security measures across your home boundaries.”

Amthal supports the following Police recommendations to homeowners:

1. Remember to always lock your shed after removing what you need. Using a two ‘hasp and staple’ lock or an alarmed padlock would be preferable.

2. Consider placing a stand-alone alarm in your shed or garage to alert you to any intruders, or potential threat.

3. Secure your rear garden by locking entry gates with a padlock and / or opting for CCTV, which covers all areas of your property, including the garden.

4. Ensure boundary fences are secure and in good condition. This includes the addition of an alarmed system or simply spikey plants surrounding, which can work as further deterrents

5. Any tools and gardening equipment purchased should be then visibly marked with postcode and house number. This can deter thieves and help police identify the rightful owner should any of it go missing from your property.

6. Locking garage doors securely with metal ‘up and over’ doors, alarm systems or fitting extra locks either side and/or fitting a floor mounting ‘T-bar with closed shackle padlock is of the highest importance when keeping your summer possessions safe.

7. Wooden garage doors can also be secured with two substantial ‘hasps and staple’ locks and closed shackle padlocks.

Jamie added: “Savvy burglars know that homeowners are most likely to keep expensive equipment in garages, sheds and outbuildings. Plus they will use any tools made available to help gain access to your home as quickly and quietly as possible.

“By acting now to install or update home security measures to cover all property boundaries, when the summer finally arrives, homeowners can enjoy the outdoors, and hopefully some sunshine, knowing home and possessions are safe and secure.”

For more detailed advice on the campaign, please visit


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